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Laurel and Bob get together in Emmerdale
(Picture: ITV)

With some soap relationships, something just clicks and the chemistry and storyline potentials just make them almost unanimously engaging to fans. Then there are the more divisive pairings – lets just say that there were few Emmerdale viewers racing out to get Bob Hope and Laurel Thomas t-shirts printed.

When the couple had an affair behind Brenda Walkers back while Laurel was grieving for her late husband Ashley, the shock factor was certainly there – but so was the ick factor and Tony Audenshaw has acknowledged that it was a lot to ask to get fans behind them as a couple.

Pondering the controversial storyline, he told Metro.co.uk: Were both very pragmatic about things and we just do all the time what weve got. Weve really enjoyed working together. Ive known Charlotte a long time and shes an absolute gem to work with. Its just great to work with her.

(Picture: ITV)

Im aware the story wasnt well received by a lot of people. I went on This Morning or Lorraine, and I dont normally look at stuff, but I went on to see how it was going down and I was like, Oh my God! It was terrible, but all you can do from our point of view is play it as honestly as you can.

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There were times during the affair and we were thinking, the way hes behaving is terrible, just lying and lying and lying, but thats what youve got to do. Playing a character in a soap isnt about making your character popular, its doing what the stories are. Were not working with each other as much now.

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However, Bob is certainly paying the price for his behaviour now as he faces a very bleak and lonely Christmas. With mounting debts, nowhere to stay and unable to pay the bills, Bob hits rock bottom. And its only going to get worse.

Tony warned: I think he can go very low! He feels terrible but hes aware its his own doing. Brenda has said it on more than one occasion that hell end up with nothing and thats the way its going to go for him.

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